Colombo, May 30: Sri Lankan military and police used boats to rescue the marooned and retrieve corpses as the death toll from the devastating floods in the island tion rose to 183, officials said on Tuesday. At least 103 persons remained missing and the toll was expected to rise as authorities battle to rescue those still stranded across a wide stretch of the country, the Daily Mirror reported. It was the worst flooding in Sri Lanka since 2003. India and other countries have rushed aid to help Sri Lankan authorities.
The Disaster Magement Centre (DMC) said 112 people were also injured. A total of 545,243 people were affected by the disaster. The South-West monsoon unleashed torrential rains, ravaging 14 districts in the western and southern parts of the country last week. Houses and shops remained submerged in 10 to 30 feet of water. The Expressway from Colombo to Matara, in the deep south, was flooded in several areas.
The DMC ordered people living along the winding Kelani river — where the Hollywood movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai” was filmed — to evacuate to safer places. Officials said this would cover the areas of Kollonwa, Kaduwela, Wellampitiya, Kelaniya, Biyagama, Sedawatte, Dompe, Hanwella, Padukka and Avissawella. The Meteorology Department said rains and winds were expected to continue.
Indian rescue personnel were deployed last week in flood-hit areas. An Indian ship carrying relief material and rescue personnel, INS Kirch, reached Colombo last week. Sri Lanka Red Cross volunteers and staff workers were engaged in search and rescue missions besides distributing food, water and essential supplies. (IANS)